[Foundation] membership, money, and meritocracy

Ed Coughlin ecoughlin at gollaborate.com
Fri Apr 4 12:28:51 CST 2003

I've read all of the thread to-date and it seems to me that the interests of
the participants have fallen into two tracks:

  What is good for the Jabber development community and subsequently the
open source products it produces?

  What is good for the Jabber Protocol Standard?

This is a point-in-time that the Jabber Protocol  is facing stiff
competition by another open source protocol as well as from proprietary
technologies.  One protocol will become like XML and become like "flouride
in the water" to future semantic web applications.  The others will/could
become like SGML, a lesser known antecendent to the "true" standard.

I'm appreciative for the diligent efforts of the JSF and all its JEP
developers to remain focused on advancing that protocol so that it might be
the best choice in the presence protocol competition.

But I also have to say that if the JSF tries to remain both a protocol
standard-bearing organization for IM/P and an open source technology
organization ....*THAT* it will not do either as well as it *NEEDS* to and
will not be the front runner in either competition.

I suggest that the JSF spin off an *independent* open source community
probably based on the Apache.org model and keep the JSF  focus on advancing
its protocol and driving the adoption of the protocol.  I suggest this for
several reasons:

1) Every software standard to-date has had to sever its ties from the
implementing organizations in order for commercial ISVs to adopt it i.e.
UNIX spun off by AT&T.  The only exception to this is Microsoft who spends
billions of dollars in marketing and acquisitions so that its technology
becomes a standard substitution.

2) The work of developing the protocol and driving its adoption is vastly
different than growing an open-source software development community.

The protocol standard-bearing organization is focused on supporting
commercial adopters as well as open source ISVs.  The Open source community
is focused on launching relevant software projects to a wide array of
applications and then supporting the development community in bringing these
products to release.

I don't think JSF has the luxury of waiting for an opportune moment to
implement this separation because in order for the Jabber Protocol to become
that "flouride" it needs to start getting adopted and implemented more
widely by commercial and open-source ISVs now.  Delaying this decision might
mean a sorely missed opportunity.

On the question of "fees" .. do the math.. $xxx from individual members
won't be enough to pay for the plane tickets and hotel rooms for the JSF
entourage to travel to conferences and IETF meetings for a year :).

If a spin-off is elected the JSF would be small and focused the Open-source
community would be large and diverse.

K, I tossed in my hat now stomp on it :)


"The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which information is
given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in
cooperation." -- Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, Ora Lassila, The Semantic
Web, Scientific American, May 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Saint-Andre" <stpeter at jabber.org>
To: <members at jabber.org>
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 9:01 AM
Subject: Re: [Foundation] membership, money, and meritocracy

> OK, I'm all caught up on this thead. I really do appreciate the passion
> people bring to Jabber, and it's great to see that in this thread. I
> need to absorb what people have written before posting at length, but I
> want to reiterate that my original post was merely meant to start some
> discussion about what the JSF is all about. So by that measure it has
> surely succeeded. :)
> I'll post at greater length soon (sorry I was AWOL over the last few
> days, I've been cranking out docs for the IETF).
> Peter
> --
> Peter Saint-Andre
> Jabber Software Foundation
> http://www.jabber.org/people/stpeter.php
> _______________________________________________
> Members mailing list
> Members at jabber.org
> http://mailman.jabber.org/listinfo/members

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